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Ohio Mortgage Broker License: Step-by-Step Guide

In the state of Ohio, anyone engaged in residential mortgage loan activities must obtain a license or registration. The Ohio Department of Commerce: Financial Institutions Division regulates, supervises and issues all licenses.

The mortgage license/registration application process for entities and individuals is handled by the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System (NMLS). NMLS allows companies and loan originators to apply, update, or renew a license online.

Types of Mortgage Licenses in Ohio

Ohio has three major state license types: Company, Branch, and Individual. Each license type depends on the work you wish to perform.

In this guide, we’ll cover the most common licenses only. You can review the full list on the NMLS website.

Most Common Company Licenses

  • Mortgage Broker Act (OMBA) Certificate of Registration - required of entities that solicit financial and mortgage information, assist borrowers in obtaining mortgages and receive money for these services (from borrowers and/or lenders). Entities who engage in table funding for residential mortgage loans are also required to obtain a registration. For further information, as well as the complete description, you may visit the NMLS website.
  • Mortgage Broker Act Mortgage Banker Exemption - required of entities that service, make, buy, or sell residential mortgage loans. License applicants must be approved as a non-supervised mortgagee by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and/or be approved as a seller/servicer by either Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. For further information, as well as the complete description, you may visit the NMLS website.
  • Mortgage Loan Act (OMLA) Certification of Registration - required of entities that engage in making residential loans, lending and/or collecting money or credit, and making unsecured (other than by real property) loans. For further information, as well as the complete description, you may visit the NMLS website.

Most Common Individual Licenses

  • Mortgage Broker Act Loan Originator License - allows individuals to take residential mortgage loan applications, negotiate the terms of the loans, issue commitments, and/or assist buyers in obtaining a mortgage loan for residential properties. Licensees are permitted to engage in the above-mentioned activities only on transactions regulated by the OMBA.
  • Mortgage Broker Act Temporary Loan Originator License - allow individuals, who are licensed in other jurisdictions, to obtain a temporary license (for up to 90 days) prior to meeting all requirements for an OH Mortgage Broker Act Loan Originator license.
  • Mortgage Loan Act Mortgage Loan Originator License - permits individuals to take residential mortgage loan applications and negotiate the terms of the loans, issue commitments, and/or assist buyers in obtaining a mortgage loan for residential properties. Licensees are allowed to engage in the above-mentioned activities only on transactions regulated by the OMLA.
  • Mortgage Loan Act Temporary Mortgage Loan Originator License - allow individuals, who are licensed in other jurisdictions, to obtain a temporary license (for up to 90 days) prior to meeting all requirements for an OH Mortgage Loan Act Mortgage Loan Originator license.

Note: The type of Loan Originator license depends on your employer. The individual (originator) license should be under the same Act as the employing company is registered.

Ohio State Requirements

All license applications must be submitted in NMLS. Please note that some agency-specific documents, such as the company attestation form or the individual surety bond form, must be mailed directly to the Department of Financial Institutions. Company license applicants, please mail your documentation via email to [email protected]. Individual applicants, you may send your documents to Division of Financial Institutions, 77 South High Street, 21st Floor, Columbus, Ohio 43215.

For assistance or further information regarding license requirements, you may contact the Department at (614) 644-6484 or [email protected].

For NMLS-related questions, please contact their call center at (855) 665-7123.

Education and Exams

Passing an exam is obligatory for some, but not all licenses in Ohio. In order to obtain a Mortgage Broker Act Loan Originator or Mortgage Loan Act Mortgage Loan Originator License, you must complete an education course and pass a test.

Exams for Individual Licenses

  • Mortgage Broker Act Loan Originator License - To obtain this license, you must first complete an NMLS-approved education course of at least 24 hours. The course must include four hours of Ohio-specific content. For further information, as well as a list of approved providers, please visit the NMLS Education page.

    Upon completion of the course, you can enroll for the test and pay the fee via NMLS. You can schedule an exam date via your NMLS profile or by contacting the exam administrator Prometric at (877) 671-6657.

    Additional information on how to schedule and take the Mortgage Loan Originator test can be found on the NMLS testing page.

  • Mortgage Loan Act Mortgage Loan Originator License - To obtain this license, you must first complete an NMLS-approved pre-licensure education course of at least 20 hours. For further information, as well as a list of approved providers, you may visit the NMLS Education page.

    After completing the pre-licensure course, you can enroll for the test and pay the applicable fees in NMLS. You can schedule an exam date either in NMLS or by getting in touch with the exam administrator Prometric at (877) 671-6657.

    Additional information on how to schedule and take the Mortgage Loan Originator test can be found on the NMLS testing page.

OH Mortgage Broker Bonds

Bonds for Company Licenses

  • Mortgage Broker Act (OMBA) Certificate of Registration - Registration applicants are required to furnish a surety bond. The amount of the bond depends on the originated residential mortgage loans (nationwide) in the previous calendar year. The amount should be equal to 0.5% of the loan volume; it cannot be less than $50,000 and more than $150,000.
  • Mortgage Broker Act Mortgage Banker Exemption - Exemption applicants are also required to provide a surety bond in an amount equal to 0.5% of the loan origination volume. The amount depends on the originated residential mortgage loans (nationwide) in the previous calendar year. The amount must not be less than $50,000 and no more than $150,000.
  • Mortgage Loan Act (OMLA) Certification of Registration - Applicants are required to submit a surety bond based on the dollar amount of originated residential mortgage loans (nationwide) in the previous calendar year. The amount must be equal to 0.5% of the loan origination volume and be at least $50,000, but not in excess of $150,000.

Bonds for Individual Licenses

  • Mortgage Broker Act Loan Originator License - All applicants must be covered by either a company (employer) or an individual surety bond. The amount of the bond should be equal to 0.5% of the aggregate loan amount of all residential mortgage loans originated in the previous calendar year. The amount must be at least $50,000 but not more than $150,000 for a company (employer) and not more than $100,000 for individual bonds.
  • Mortgage Broker Act Temporary Loan Originator License - Temporary license applicants must be covered by the employing company. Applicants, or their employers, are required to provide a copy of the company surety bond.
  • Mortgage Loan Act Mortgage Loan Originator License - Loan Originator applicants must be covered by a company (employer) bond or provide an individual surety bond. The bond amount is based on the residential mortgage loans originated in the previous calendar year and should be equal to 0.5% of the aggregate loan amount. The amount should be at least $50,000 but not more than $150,000 for company (employer) bonds and not more than $100,000 for individual bonds.
  • Mortgage Loan Act Temporary Mortgage Loan Originator License - Applicants must be covered under their employer’s surety bond and may be required to submit a copy of the bond.

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Licensing Fees

Fees for Company Licenses

All fees are non-refundable and to be paid in NMLS.

  • Mortgage Broker Act (OMBA) Certificate of Registration
    • $200 registration costs.
    • $100 NMLS processing fee.
    • $15 credit report fee.
    • $36.25 background check.
  • Mortgage Broker Act Mortgage Banker Exemption
    • $350 filing costs.
    • $100 NMLS processing fee.
  • Mortgage Loan Act (OMLA) Certification of Registration
    • $500 registration costs.
    • $100 NMLS processing fee.
    • $15 credit report fee.
    • $36.25 background check.

Fees for Individual Licenses

All fees are non-refundable and to be paid on NMLS.

  • Mortgage Broker Act Loan Originator License
    • $150 application fee.
    • $30 NMLS processing fee.
    • $15 credit report fee.
    • $36.25 background check.
    • $100 exam fee.
  • Mortgage Broker Act Temporary Loan Originator License
    • $150 application fee.
    • $30 NMLS processing fee.
    • $15 credit report fee.
    • $36.25 background check.
  • Mortgage Loan Act Mortgage Loan Originator License
    • $150 application fee.
    • $30 NMLS processing fee.
    • $15 credit report fee.
    • $36.25 background check.
    • $100 exam fee.
  • Mortgage Loan Act Temporary Loan Originator License
    • $150 application fee.
    • $30 NMLS processing fee.
    • $15 credit report fee.
    • $36.25 background check.

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